Disclosure: Rose Law Group represents the Phoenix Suns
By Jessica Boehm | Arizona Republic
The Phoenix City Council approved a controversial deal with the Phoenix Suns that will keep the NBA franchise in downtown Phoenix through at least 2037.
The council voted 6-2, with Vice Mayor Jim Waring and Councilman Sal DiCiccio opposing it, to approve the $230 million deal. The city will pay $150 million from its Sports Facilities Fund, which is composed of a 1 percent tax on hotels and a 2 percent tax on car rentals.
The council added a number of tweaks to the deal, including:
Requiring the Suns to spend $10 million on community benefits (either through nonprofits or city programs), including at least $2.6 million to the city’s preschool program this year.
The city will hire someone to oversee Phoenix’s expenditures on the renovations.
The city will commit the $1.5 million rent increase from the Suns to homeless issues.
80 percent of any additional revenues generated by the city from the arena will go toward city public-safety costs.
Details of the deal were released to the public in December — less than a week before the council was initially supposed to vote on it. After public backlash, the council postponed the vote and hosted a series of public meetings to educate residents about the details of the agreement.